In Cape Town, you can pick one of several scenic routes to reach the top of Table Mountain (1,085m/3,559ft). Platteklip Gorge is the oldest and shortest way up, which also makes it the most popular. But when it comes to natural charm, Skeleton Gorge is considered the best. It is also the longest, taking at least five hours to complete the round trip, so make sure you’re in good physical condition before tackling this one.
South Africa’s highest mountain range, Drakensberg (3,582m/11,423ft), is characterized by dramatic pinnacles and rugged peaks, all of which can be explored on day routes, as well as more serious two to three-day hikes.
Who among us hasn’t dreamed of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m/19,341ft) after reading Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro? Various routes can take you to the summit of the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. The least difficult are Marangu and Rongai. The more challenging ones are Machame, Shira, and Lemosho.
Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain, with its twin peaks – Batian (5,199 m/16,355 ft) and Nelion (5,188 m/17,021 ft) – being accessible via technical climbing routes on both rock and ice. Its third highest peak, Lenana (4,085 m/13,402ft) is easier to reach via popular trekking routes.